I’ve been busy updating my Etsy shop, adding new products, and my revamping packaging. It started out with running low of thank you postcards, and I was going to order more. BUt I noticed the price of printing has jumped out substantially. I decided to get creative.

Over the years of being in business, I’ve adapted a philosophy of “use what you’ve got”,  instead of buying more stuff, akin to the saying, make lemonade when life gives you lemons.

Envelope print and card ©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

My art supply stack of card stock has gone unused and neglected. I decided to design thank you cards with the card stock. Each card opens up with a thank you note attached, which can be easily removed. The customer can then use the card in the future to write a note to someone else.  The card has two sides,one without my promo info, so it can be flipped to just the picture side.

I also decided to create a design for my mailing envelopes. I use these resealable envelopes with the hope that the customer will reuse it for something else. My thought is if I make it really pretty, it will increase the likelihood of not being tossed out. I am also printing the return address directly on the envelopes, so that I am halve reduce use of labels by half.

Design drafts ©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

While doing all this, I ended up finally finishing a product design that has been sitting on the back burner.  I’ve been wanting to redesign my Arnica Balm labels to relaunch it on Etsy. Up until now, I have only had this balm on offer to personal friends. I’ve been working on this formula a long time, designed to relieve muscle aches and bruises. Now I am really happy with the new design.

Arnica Balm, averrable here ©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

I’ve designed my labels to be printed on fine qua;ity paper. I found the paper was sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear. It is glued on using an adhesive that works on glass. The great thing is that the labels and glue come off easily after soaking in hot water. No sticky gummy mess to deal with! My hope is that customers reuse the jars instead of tossing it in the recycling bin.

I also designed a label for my Lavender essential oil roller. I never travel without lavender oil. I learned my lesson from the past. You never know if the place you’re going to will have mostquitos, or you get a pimple on the way there! Better safe than suffer on a long journey!

Lavender essential oil roll-on, available here ©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

Originally, I wanted to design a print for kraft paper wrap for gift orders. But it turned out that my printer cannot deal with the task. I don’t want to order it custom, as I don’t normally use tissue wrap in my orders. I consider it non-essential.

Instead, I created a gift wrap design, which features plain tissue wrap, a lace cut-out obi strap and embossed logo sticker seal. Embossing is a great way to customize stationary items, and it requires no ink! The obi strap is made from scrap remnants of photo paper that would have been thrown out otherwise.

©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

Long time readers of my blog will recognize the line drawings on my packaging. They are my channelled drawing with P. I’ve long wanted to incorporate them into my designs.

So far, I feel that the start of 2022 has been a productive one. They say that how you start the year on the first day will project into the rest of the year. I was packing orders on New Year’s day. Perhaps the saying is true?

I even had the energy to design this gift bag for my shop. I’m going to be offering premium gift wrapping options for my customers buying presents.

Gift bag available here ©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.

My philosophy for designing packaging is to keep it simple, and as minimal as possible. A lot of times, I will try to find ways to reuse packaging that I receive in orders. I also keep in mind how the end user can reuse the packaging. I also consider durability of the packaging, so rather than being recycled, reuse is preferred. I still use plastic in my packaging, but it is used for the purpose of keeping items fresh, or to prevent damage during transit. I’ve had samples of those biodegradable clear plastic protector bags, and I’ve got to say, that I am not a fan. They break apart easily around the edges and folds, as they are not as flexible. Some of these packaging products that are said to be environmentally -friendly are not long lasting.

Recently a friend asked where I got the name for my shop, Dreamer Gallery. I chose it for several reasons. I like the feeling the word dreamer evokes. But the word “dream” is also in the letters of  my name. ANDREAMAI.

Anyways, hope to see you in my Etsy shop here.

©2022 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.